Sunday, 13 May 2012

Fairy Tale Must Reads!

Here are five great books for the fairy tale aficionado. They range from the 6th Century BC up until 2009. You'll find that each book will handle the broad scope of stories that fairy tales cover, and the narrative variety that fairy tales are famous for. The last two books are a modern take on the fairy tale style.

Fables from the 6th Century BC.
Aesop: The Complete Fables are full of humour, insight and savage wit as well as many fascinating glimpses of everyday life, yet earlier English versions have been both sanitized and highly selective. This is the first translation ever to make available the complete corpus of 358 fables.

Aesop himself was most probably a prisoner of war, sold into slavery in the early sixth century BC, who represented his masters in court and negotiations and relied on animal stories to put across key points. Such fables vividly reveal the strange superstitions of ordinary ancient Greeks, how they treated their pets, how they spoilt their sons and even what they kept in their larders, showing that the tales are also a recording of sorts of that period. As the stories became well known, 'Aesopic' one-liners were widely quoted at drinking parties, and the collection eventually came to include more satirical tales of alien creatures - apes, camels, lions, and elephants - which presumably originate in Libya and Egypt. And all have now been brought together in this definitive and fully annotated modern edition of Aesop: The Complete Fables.

 One of the most popular collection of tales ever published.

This classic edition of 210 ageless tales of myth and magic - one of the most popular collection of fairy tales ever published!
"Among the indispensable, common-property books upon which Western culture can be founded....It is hardly too much to say that these tales rank next to the Bible in importance....Beautiful," wrote W.H. Auden when the original edition of Grimm's was published in 1944.

"Everyone should possess and know Grimm's Fairy Tales - one of the great books of the world - and no English speaking person could do better than this edition." - Richard Adams, New York Times Book review.

"Sheer excitement." Time Magazine

These fairy tales, told originally as an oral form of storytelling, shows us what the real Snow White was like, and also Cinderella, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and many more. Grimm's Fairy Tales is a must for fairy tale lovers.

Journey to Fantastica!


Unicorns, dragons, sprites, will o' the-wisps; the inhabitants of an enchanted world. And through this world ventures Bastian, through the old pages of a book. Bastian is a lonely boy of ten or twelve, and he must save Fantastica, a world that is slowly decaying, its Childlike Empress dying. Only a real human being can set things right by giving the Empress a new name. Bastian finds himself crossing the Swamps of Sadness and the Silver Mountains, meeting giants, sorcerers, night-hobs and bats, racing snails and gnomes, as he journeys bravely toward the Ivory Tower.

Bastians quest is filled with all the wonders of myth and fairy tale! The Neverending Story is a fantasy adventure that will recapture the magical dreams of childhood - and your heart.

Tales within tales.

Catherynne M. Valente has mastered the modern fairy tale in this 483 page book of tales within tales - puzzles, stories, and adventures told from many characters, trailed down from a lonely girl who spins stories to warm a curious prince. Her tales are inked on her eyelids, and each tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history.

The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden have tales of shape-shifting witches and wild horse-women, heron kings and beast princesses, snake gods, dog monks, and living stars - each story more strange and fantastic than the one that came before!

"Valente's endless invention and mythic range are breathtaking. It's as if she's gone night-wandering, and plucked a hundred distant cultures out of the air to deliver their stories to us." - Ellen Kushner, author of Thomas the Rhymer.

A city at the end of the world.

An overwhelming tale of life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world, a city called Palimpsest. To reach this city is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse - a journey given to those who have always believed there's another world than the one that meets the eye. People that make the passage are forever marked by a map of that wonderous city, a random district tattooed into their flesh after a night with another who has a piece of the map upon their skin.

Catherynne M. Valente has enchanted readers again with this original  kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, cream filled canals, and living kanji, where come four travellers who have lost something important: a lover, a wife, a sister, a direction in life. But what they shall find in Palimpsest is more than they could imagine.

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